Beer Review 0057: New Holland Mad Hatter India Pale Ale

New Holland Brewing Company is located in Holland, Michigan, and is a relatively small regional microbrewery. Started up in 1996, New Holland’s mission statement is “to enhance our customers quality of life by providing the most remarkable experience possible.”

The brewery also has a pub where more experimental beers are produced. New Holland also makes spirits.

Mad Hatter India Pale Ale is dry-hopped to give a distinctive floral aroma and comes in at 5.25 ABV (alcohol by volume).

Alright, if this review seems a bit dry so far, that’s because there is very little information about New Holland on their website to regale you with. And there’s even less info on this beer itself other than the bit about dry hopping and the ABV. So let’s just drink the beer and hope it’s really good.

Mad Hatter pours an orange-amber color with an average sized head that lingers well beyond expected. The body is a little cloudy but free of particles and sediment, and the drink leaves behind excellent quality lacing, thick sheets that stick to the glass all the way to the last sip.

The beer is quite aromatic, headed up by the advertised flowers but also lending itself to a fair bit of lemon. It borders on dish soap, which you can either take as being pleasant or not, but I found it nice and not too chemical. There’s a tiny bit of malt in there, too; it’s a small burnt/toasted scent.

To say the flavors were a disappointment is an understatement. Unfortunately, this IPA is dominated by bitterness instead of the bitter just being a component to a complex and flavorful drink. Right from first taste, your palate is hit with an overwhelming dose of bitter, which never opens up to anything until you’ve fully swallowed, when a smidgen of grapefruit greets you on the finish, coupled with a little of those toasted malts. This is a very dry beer and it’s gritty, and it has a fair amount of carbonation that stings the tongue.

Mad Hatter has a long and bitter finish, so long that you wonder what you’re missing. This seems like a wasted opportunity, to me. There isn’t much flavor here, and what you do find, you have to really wring out. Took me a good while to get the entire glass down. (Never waste beer, unless it’s Budweiser Chelada.)

New Holland Mad Hatter India Pale Ale, 73 points. Price: $2.29 US for one twelve ounce bottle.

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